Wellness Gift Giving Guide – Natural + Organic Gifts

By Katie at Wellness Mama

What is on your Christmas list this year? What are you getting for friends and family? Check out this great resource compiled by Katie at Wellness Mama of natural and organic gifts!

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St. Nicholas Is Too Old and Too Tired to Defeat the Selling Power of Santa Claus!

This Sunday, the Feast of St. Nicholas, the ancient precursor to the modern Santa Claus, will pass without much ado. Some will try to encourage us to resurrect St. Nicholas to save us all from Santa’s powers for we have gone astray. To those well meaning souls who would rid Christmas of its flagrant consumerism, I can only offer up a feeble, “Baa Humbug!”

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Miracles of Human Birthing

Miracles of human birthing –
We but stand in silent awe.
God in each and every earthling
Gives to life its sacred core.
Come and ponder all the mystery of new life that we adore

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All I Want for Christmas Is an AK-47

When the Reason for the Season Goes Missing

This is the season Christian faith communities of every sort prepare in one way or another to observe the nativity of something deemed to be holy and salvific. We recall ancient prophecies that foretell a “prince of peace, and wonderful counselor” comes around each year with a message to save us from ourselves. (Isaiah 9:6)
Once born into a world of violence and terror not unlike our own, the message remains unchanged. Regrettably, so too has been the obstinate ways in which we have collectively refused to live with one another in response to that message.

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Christ Will Come Again, and Again, and Again – a sermon for Advent 1C – Luke 21:25-38, 34-36

Advent, the very word means come; tis the season of coming. Advent is not about waiting; waiting for Christmas, or waiting for the birth of a baby; Advent is about coming, the coming of Christ. In the darkness of the end, we long for Christ to come. Yes, we will have to wait for Christmas to come; but Christmas will come as it always does. The point is not the waiting, the point is in the midst of darkness, in the trials and tribulations of the end, Christ will come; the point is Christ will come. In the midst of the darkness of the end, our deepest longings are stirred up, our longings for hope, for peace, for love and for joy.

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum Year Two – Full PDF

In A Joyful Path, Year Two, we focus on some of the main tenets of Progressive Christianity and Spirituality, giving our children the foundation they need to walk the path of Jesus in today’s world. It has stories and affirmations written to help children clarify their own personal beliefs while staying open to the wisdom of other traditions.

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Children’s Lesson Plans – Caring for the Environment and Each Other

by Forest Nation

Students will gain an appreciation for the characteristics of Forest life and develop a relationship with a local ecosystem

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The Birth of Jesus in Digital Format

Now in digital format! While Luke’s narrative, the most detailed account of the birth of Jesus, is lyrical and inspiring, in The Birth of Jesus, Spong persuasively demonstrates it is allegory. Layer by layer, Spong weighs every element of the New Testament stories against Old Testament legends building a convincing case. Spong’s 16 original essays step backward and forward through the scriptures demonstrating why each element was chosen by the early CE writers to establish Jesus’ lineage and divinity. It is a fascinating and persuasive journey and a remarkable illustration of Biblical scholarship.

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“The Work of Christmas” by Howard Thurman

Mystic, poet, philosopher, and theologian Howard Thurman’s reminds of the true meaning of Christmas in his poem, “The Work of Christmas.”

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Taking the “Christ” Out of Christmas

The challenge for a progressive Christian who has moved beyond such notions as virgin births and gods disguised in human form come to save us from ourselves is to remember that it is as much a historical development, as it is a theological one. That is, the attribution of a “Christ” title accorded a very human Jesus constitutes the imaginations — if not machinations — of an early Church; consisting of very human, second-generation followers of a 1st century Galilean peasant sage and itinerant preacher. And who all but drowned out the authentic voice of the one who was once born and dwelt among humankind.

Such an assertion is simply based on the fact the historical Jesus never self-identified as the “anointed one,” the Christ.

As such, if one were to remove the Christ-title from the various birth narratives of those secondary traditions of this religious movement, what would remain of the “Christmas story” that has become as prevalently assumed, as it has been unexamined? If we took the Christ out of Christmas, what might remain of the voice of one who was born and dwelt among us?

You can read more here.

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Winter Solstice: 21 Alchemical Reflections from Carl Jung to Pema Chödrön

In the northern hemisphere, this solstice occurs during what is typically the coldest season of the year. Throughout history winter has been regarded as the season of hibernation, stillness, melancholy, famine, dormancy, darkness and cold. The symbolism of the winter solstice to-date represents the coming of lighter days and potentially elevated optimism, energy and hope.

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Out of this House

Out of this house where there is no room
For the little ones that to him belong
(He is weak but he is God)

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The Risk of Birth, Christmas 1973

A poem by Madeleine L'Engle

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.

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The Outside Shed

The outside shed where Jesus lay
Was home to goat and ox;
It was a dirty place to be;
Fit for the shepherds’ flocks;

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Monthly eBulletin- The Gift of Presence, Finding the Light Within

The miracle of life is the true Christmas miracle… indeed each breath is a miracle, each moment when we are able to gaze at the stars and see their brilliance is a miracle. And love…that’s the best miracle of all. This Christmas we wish you moments of love, laughter and light.

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Reconnecting with Christmas

This Christmas holiday week I plan to slow down and reflect on the year that has passed. I will set time aside to find some peace, joy, focus, forgiveness, thankfulness, and renewal for my own soul before the next year begins. I want to take some extra time to just be, and breath, and feel gratitude and joy. The best present I may receive this year may simply be the opportunity to be present. And maybe in that presence I will more deeply experience the very presence and Spirit of my own divinity.

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Light in the Midst of Darkness

When I am struggling, maybe with grief, or trying to sort out something difficult in my life, I often go to a special spot and quietly wait for the new sun to appear. It always makes a significant difference in my being when I do this. My load feels lighter. My fears often dissolve. My grief can be transformed into hope. Over the years I have thought of all kinds of metaphors that may explain this phenomenon. I am reminded that it is a new dawn, or a new day. No matter how painful or dark my situation seems to be, as that sun comes over the horizon everything in my life begins to look and feel different. The new sun symbolizes a new beginning for me. I feel I have gained a new perspective. My internal darkness has dissolved into new light and I am comforted.

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Looking for a Christmas Miracle

When you see something so clearly, you inevitably wonder why it took so long to find the solution. It’s the same with so many things in life. Once you see reality clearly, you can’t believe it took you so long to see it. Suddenly everything becomes clear. When you fall in love, find your passion, realize an injustice, see nature’s beauty, it’s like scales fall off your eyes and everything becomes clear.

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